OSU Libraries Special Colleciton and Archives Research Center Internship

In Spring term 2015 I had the privilege to work as a conservation and preservation intern with SCARC. During the course of my internship I was able to learn basic skills and techniques such as encapsulating maps, humidifying and flattening paper, rehousing glass plate negatives, creating custom mounts to display materials, and making custom enclosures for fragile materials in the rare book collection.


On this page I have shown examples of my projects and provided brief explanations about the processes.

Custom Enclosures

During the course of my internship I have been able to make dozens of custom enclosures to protect rare and fragile books. Enclosures protect the books while they are on the shelves as well as during transportation for patron use, lengthening the life of the materials and allow people to have access to them while inflicting less wear and tear.
For smaller or lighter books I made phase boxes. For the larger and heavier books I made clamshell enclosures.

Exhibit Display

I worked on preparing materials for an upcoming exhibit. I constructed triangles of varying sizes to use as stands for books and documents, created custom cradles for books to be displayed open, mounted scanned images on boards, and mounted documents on boards with mylar tabs so the original materials could be displayed without being altering or damaging.

Humidifying and Flattening

One of the projects I helped with was flattening architectural plans which had been stored in tight rolls for many years and would not lie flat. 

The process involved humidifying the plans by suspending them in a container with a small amount of water in the bottom until they became very slightly damp. They were then layed flat between sheets of blotting paper, to absorbe the moisture, and left to dry under weights for a few more days.  The results are plans that lie completely flat so they can be stored more easily.

Rehousing Glass Plate Negatives

One of my internship projects was rehousing a collection of several hundred glass plate negatives taken in the 1910's. These were being stored in their original protective envelopes, my task was to move them to new, four-flap enclosures and transfer any information the photographer had written on the envelope. The four-flap enclosures provide better protection from dust and eliminate the risk of abrasion from sliding the negatives in and out of the envelopes.

Map Encapsulation

One of the first projects for my internship was encapsulating fragile or damaged maps. By encapsulating them in mylar they are protected from futher damage, so they could continue to be used by patrons and researchers. And the map itself is not altered so if needed they could be removed from the mylar and still be in their original condition.

Oversized Map Carrier

Many of the maps in SCARC's collection are very large. They are stored in folders which can be very difficult for one or even two people to carry, and they often need to be transported between floors. I was tasked with designing and constructing something that could be used to carry these unruly materials. I made this portfolio type carrier to be easy to carry for one or two people. It measures roughly 3.5 by 5 feet.

Custom Cradle

This is a cradle I made so this book could be displayed open during a special event. The cradle supports the book so it is not forced open farther than it wants to be and inside pages came be viewed, rather than just the cover.

"Form should never be compromised

for the sake of function;

function should never be compromised

for the sake of form."

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